Monday, January 30, 2012

A Trio of Beanies!

So decided to take a break from the blankets and kick out some boy beanies this weekend! I had gotten the Stitch and Bitch Crochet: Happy Hooker book a while ago, but have yet to make anything from it - so dove in and found this adorable beanie hat pattern. When I went to look it up on Ravelry - I saw that the designer, Laura Killoran ( had an update to it! So i quickly downloaded the update, and went to work to make a beanie for hubby. The pattern was easy, flawless, and the result was BEAUTIFUL!!! It was SO easy - that I made another one for my 4 year old and yet another for my new baby boy who's due next month!! Kicked all out in a matter of hours!

Used Bernat Satin Solid Yarn - Black and Forest Mist Heather for the Stripes - I did up the hooks for the bigger 2 hats, but that's due to my own tight stitching which i've come to accept and decided not to try to change :)

The result - a trio of adorable matching beanies! I've already sent the pattern out to all my crocheting friends - and will most definitely use this pattern again in the future! Hats off to Laura Killoran and Thanks for the awesome pattern!

You can follow her on twitter:!/croshay

Or follow ME :)!/mancychavez

Monday, January 23, 2012

I heart Vickie Howell

This is going to turn into a gushing fan post to Vickie Howell.  Vickie is an amazing designer sponsored by Caron Yarns, who's patterns are modern, timely, and flawless!  I have only been crocheting about 18 months now - definitely still define myself as a beginner when i think of all those who have been crocheting for 30+ years :) I'm a newbie, still get confused in how to change colors, always forget how to do a Treble-crochet and have to hit YouTube to relearn, and I usually avoid anything that's not rated "easy" because i feel that i have not yet graduated past that point.  I do, at this time, have over 40 crochet projects "under my belt", still coming to grips that my gauge is super tight and I ALWAYS have to go up at least 1, if not 2 hook sizes to match. I also get 90% of my patterns free online.

Here's where Vickie comes in!

My mom told me to start subscribing to the yarn manufactures websites to get free patterns. So I did, and I signed up for Caron's and that's where I "met" Vickie. Right away LOVED her style! She was giving patterns for stuff I would see in the mall! So i dove in, and make my first Vickie pattern - the Urban Jungle Slouch Hat. :) Ended up making it 4 times! :)  Why, not just because it is AWESOME, but because the pattern is perfect. I was able to follow it the first try - understand what was expected of me, and the result was beautiful! (which cannot be said of all my projects :) I tweeted about one of these hats, and Vicki herself re-tweeted me! (my 15 minutes of social media fame).

So now, I'm diving into my next Vickie project!  I got Caron's free pattern newsletter, and there was the "Baby M Blanket". I am expecting a baby boy in a few weeks - and was looking for an awesome pattern for make for a blanket for ME (I give away almost everything I make). I gotta tell you though - i was very nervous. I mean - it's rated "intermediate". So it must be complex, tricky, difficult, albeit beautiful! So i jumped in, head first, scared and nervous. I sat in a quiet room (i usually crochet with my 3 kids running around me) so that I could "figure out" the pattern. I went at it, and low and behold, Vickie laid everything out very clearly, even had a diagram of what the pattern stitch is supposed to look like, and after about 20 minutes of going through the first few rows, I had it! Vickie comes through for me again! After working on and off during the afternoon, I already have 10 rows of the blanket done, and know the pattern cold where i can now go back to the chaos of my home, and crochet away!

More to come when it's done!

<3 you Vickie!  You can follow her on Twitter too - @VickieHowell

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ripples for EVERYONE!

Yay!!! Don't you just LOVE a finished project! I know I do. This blanket was very fun to make. Pulled the free pattern from Ravelry and using 100% Cotton "Peace and Love" Yarn from Bernat made this a very soft and fun piece. It's stitched up very quickly. I chose the colors for a baby boy blanket for my best friend who is due ANY DAY NOW!

Few items to note - I wouldn't do this particular pattern with this yarn again. If you can see from this top image, there is a bit of a "buckle" in the blanket. I followed the pattern exactly, which was very good, and seemed correct, but without the "give" of the acrilyc yarns, I think the cotton coupled with the pattern caused this "buckle" I pulled and tugged and stretched, and could not get it to lay flat at all.

I loved the pattern and I loved the yarn, and I love the final result - I just don't know that I would marry the two up again. Just my humble opinion.

All that being said - I did ship this blanket to my BFF who lives in PA and she called me immediately! She LOVED it :)

Thanks for looking!

Masculine Birthday!

Seriously - why is is SO hard to come up with masculine birthday cards! Could be because more than 70% of my stamp sets have flowers on them, and almost 1/2 of my paper is some kinds of pink/purple :) Came up with a card for my BIL's birthday to go with the iTunes gift card (always a hit!). This is a very "green" card, as the patterned paper is actually the packing off a blocks toy my son got for Christmas last year. I loved the pattern and held on it it, and finally made a card with it! Matched the Blue and Green from Stampin' Up! colors, and added the embellishments. Scalloped punch on the white, and used my Sizzix Big Shot and a textured plate for the background embossing! Hope you like - made a second one that's for sale on Etsy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ripple in the Round - In progress!

So I am loving doing projects in the round. Hats, Blankets, etc. Anything that starts in the center and moves out. I think the reason is that you see a TON of progress right off the bat (not so much when the project gets bigger and it takes you FOR-EV-A to get "around", but also I have an issue with chaining, and then the first row into that chain. Mine are always too loose, or i lose count, or something like that. Doing projects in the round means less room for error.

Found this adorable pattern on for a Ripple Blanket in the Round. Scoped the projects on ravely, to find a color combo I liked best, and found that the big bright contracting colors seemed to make the best impact with this pattern. So off to Joann's I went with my coupon in tow :)

Hit up the clearance section first, and came upon these awesome colors (Blue and Orange) for 1/2 price for their 100% Cotton Bernat Peace and Love skeins. Only had to buy one skein of white at full price, and I was ready to roll!

LOVE LOVE LOVE how this is coming out! This is for the unborn baby boy of one of my BFF's. Hoping to squeeze it in before Christmas (she's due in January) and get this shipped off to her. Since this pic was taken, I finished the blue round, already did another orange and white, and now doing the next Blue. I'm thinking one more round of white and orange should do it, and it'll be a great size to wrap that baby nice and snug! :)

Also - major shout-out for this 100% cotton yarn! This is only my second project using non-acrylic and I'm LOVING it! :)

Will post final pics when project is done! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Einstein Beanie for Baby!

So just like my stashes of scrapbook supplies and card making pieces, and PATTERNED PAPER (my obsession), I have now developed quite a stash of YARN! Random remainders of skeins here and there in random leftover colors from other projects. Started trying to kick out some ETSY projects with these. First, my first Einstein hat using Lion Brand Homespun yarn (Pattern here). LOVE working with this yarn, and thought this baby hat came out so cute! Funny part is - the pattern is ONE SIZE and shows an adult wearing it, but mine will not stretch at all beyond a baby hat - so... that's how it will be marketed :) A baby einstein hat - super cute, super soft, super blue, and next attempt, I will check my gauge better, and maybe add a few stitches to compensate for my tight hooking skillz :)

Check it out on Etsy here!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pacman Punch Art!

Ok - this card was just too fun to make! Promised my brother an "equally cool card" to my Angry Birds Card, and I had seen several PacMan cards out on SCS and others, and took a stab. Using all Stampin' Up Punches, used the Owl Punch and cut off the legs for the ghosts, the eyes are also the Owl eyes. Also, the white pellets are also the back of the eyes from the same punch. Pacman was made with a 1 3/8" punch and then a square punch to cut out the mouth :) The hardest part was getting the pupils on the eyes- I used a pin from the Toolkit to carefully place them on. This was a blast, and I'll definitely make it again!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Stamp Camp - 2011

Had a WONDERFUL stamp camp the other night with two very "old" friends from grammar school! Thanks to the power of social media, we have been able to stay in touch, and these girls have been really getting into our stamp get-togethers!

We made 20 holiday cards with all Stampin' Up! materials - Stamp-a-stack as they call it. I prepared all the supplies, but the girls had a choice of patterned paper, the border punch, and which images they wanted to stamp and decorate. They could also layout the design horizontal or vertical which gave them enough of a variety to make the cards different, but gave me enough uniformity that I could prep all the materials together and still have the class over in 2 hours. (we ran 2.5 mainly due to an exploding glue incident) :)

  • Real Red, Wild Wasabi, Whisper White Cardstock
  • Patterned Paper: Holly Berry Bouquet
  • Swirles cuttlebug embossing folder and my Big Shot
  • Rhinestone Bling
  • Scallop and Scallop Trim Border punches
  • Stampin' Up Watercolor pencils and Markers
  • Polar Party Clear Mount Stamps from Stampin' Up!

Camo Beanie

So happy to be climbing back into my crocheting - it's been a few nights since I picked up my hook - and it's like an old friend happy to be back home!

Finished up a Camo Beanie pattern I got from (more info here) using stashed yarn from the big Log Cabin Afghan project and kicked this out very quickly in one night. I had made this hat before for my son last fall, and he's still wearing it a year later, after being washed several times too!

I made the adult version of the pattern, and with the Red Heart Camo yarn, had a very cool pattern arise in the rounds. I used plain black for the band which you can't tell as much here in this photo, but is obvious in real life.

I'm thinking of next making this hat in some girly colors and throw a flower on it - the brim is a really cute touch and i think can most definitely translate well to a chic girl hat :) S8er Gurl - lol :)

Hope you like! I'll keep sharing as I get more projects together! Hoping to have a busy crochet and card week, and start making some holiday gifts as well!

Happy Hooking! :)